City Council Rejects Share Of Big City Contract Recommended By Berke Administration For Start-Up Staffing Firm

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The City Council on Tuesday night rejected awarding a share of a big contract for a start-up staffing firm that had been pushed by the Berke administration.

Councilman Chip Henderson made a motion to approve "for the purpose of discussion" on the plan to give Msi Workforce Solutions part of the work along with a North Chattanooga firm that has had the contract for temporary staffing for 11 years.

No one seconded the motion, so it died.

The full work will go to Outsource Staffing, which recently signed a new three-year contract after the council earlier voted 7-2 to omit the new firm headed by Marty and Donna Lowe from the resolution.

However, Councilman Henderson later asked that the measure be brought back up.

Rusty Hall, who heads Outsource Staffing said in a recent bid on the new contract he noticed that the Lowe firm had listed the same pay for regular hours as overtime. He said the city threw out the Lowe bid after he pointed out that was illegal.

Then he said city purchasing came up with a completely new bidding process with a 30-page document based on a 100-point ranking. He said the factors of experience and cost had low point values.

Bonnie Woodward, city purchasing director, said the departments could structure their bids any way they wanted.

She also said the fact that the Lowes have filed two personal bankruptcies was not a factor.

Donna Christian Lowe has been active in a number of local political campaigns, including that for Mayor Andy Berke, who has praised her for her civic involvement.


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